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*** Official AVATAR Discussion Thread


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630 replies to this topic

#41 of 631 LynxFX

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Posted December 15 2009 - 03:22 PM

Have a choice and I'm choosing Imax 3D. Depending on how I like the film I might go back for seconds to a smaller digital 3D presentation. I still haven't seen any Digital 3D movie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Atkins 

Looking forward to seeing this one.

I'm curious whether folks with a choice will be seeing this is IMAX 3D or "normal" 3D?



#42 of 631 Edwin-S

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Posted December 15 2009 - 03:38 PM

What is the story with this film? The reviews at rottentomatoes have are almost all positive; however, I was reading a story where the writer was questioning the Golden Globe nomination for this film, because the film was being referred to as "childish", "simplistic" and "ridiculous". What is the actual skinny on this movie? How can a film supposedly get such positive reviews and still be referred to in such unflattering terms?


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#43 of 631 TravisR

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Posted December 15 2009 - 03:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwin-S View Post

How can a film supposedly get such positive reviews and still be referred to in such unflattering terms?


No movie is universally loved. Maybe it's as simple as those critics didn't like the movie and found it to be childish, etc. and other critics liked it. Or maybe they're just more hateful losers whose only apparent joy comes from saying how everything sucks.

#44 of 631 SilverWook

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Posted December 15 2009 - 04:44 PM

Even Star Wars got some unflattering reviews back in the day. The late Cinefantastique magazine extensively covered the film, praising it's technical wizardry, while panning the movie as a whole. They couldn't believe it was from the guy who made THX-1138. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif



#45 of 631 Nicholas Martin

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Posted December 15 2009 - 04:57 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Middlemiss 

Nicholas - I would be interested to know if you have heard the CD Score release yet (knowing just how much of a Horner fan you are (like me)) - and if so, what your thoughts are? - That might be a question for another thread, however.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Mayer 

Nicholas has no doubt listened to the whole thing.  I did the first three cues, and that will have to suffice until I've seen the film.  I liked what I heard.  The first three cues are unmistakably James Horner, but I like what I hear so far.  He's given Cameron good scores before, and I'm sure the third time is the charm.  I also listened to some of the ending song, and didn't care much for it.  Maybe I will after I see the film.
You know me too well.

Since I have never held James Horner in contempt for developing his own material and making use of the classics, I don't have unflattering comments about this score - and looking around the many film music-based forums out there reveals a great many look down on this score as unoriginal garbage.

If you understand Horner's approaches and overall mentality, you can appreciate rather than denigrate his music for this film.

Many will hear this score and think "he spent a year on THIS? " but that's largely because Horner had to write and re-write every cue over and over again to fit the film's revisions and Cameron's choices. "ALIENS" was a similar experience but heavily time-compressed, and "TITANIC" was also similar - that's why so much of the score in the film differs from album and is heavily edited.

Horner spent that year developing an overall atmosphere for the Na'vi culture using Cameron's language and ideas as a basis, and had his team of editors and engineers (Jim Henrikson, Simon Rhodes, and friends) create MIDI mockups of each cue as they went, because as we all know, Cameron shot all the motion capture and had it animated "live" to see the results before having WETA finalize everything with months and years worth of refinements and revisions.

Horner is a composer who works the way a painter, or screenwriter, or director would - developing an idea and evolving it from project to project over the period of his career - only problem is, film music is one area where such things are frowned upon and Horner is often labeled a lazy hack and thief for it.

There are three personalities in this score, and the album reflects this. First a sense of wonder and mystery as we enter the world of Pandora, then a total immersion into the Na'vi culture through lively voices and percussion - this is such lively music - and by that I literally mean "full of life". Horner's take on the Na'vi is one of a celebratory mysterious serenity. The third is the domination of the Na'vi world by the human military, led by Quaritch and his musical devastation of the Pandora environment.

If I were one of the many who dumps on Horner for making use of his previous scores' elements, in this case "Glory", "The Four Feathers" for theme, and  "Apocalypto" and  "Mighty Joe Young" for stylistic traits, I'd hate this score like some, or be disappointed like many, but I'm not one of those people. I've always embraced Horner's sense of evolution, returning to previous themes and exploring where else he can take them, and therefore to me this is a wonderful album.

And on a more 'fanboy' note, "War" kicks all kinds of hardcore action ass.


If anyone wants that unreleased track from the Avatar music site "Into The Na'vi World", or any other goodies I've recorded and edited, you can find them here: 

http://www.hornershr...om/nicksuploads

Lots of odds and ends to be found.



#46 of 631 Nicholas Martin

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Posted December 15 2009 - 06:27 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire Panke 




Doubt that they have shared as much lately, possibly since Strange Days. Bigelow developed both her last TV series and The Hurt Locker in conjunction with journalist Mark Boal (who also did the story for In The Valley of Ellah). If JC gave thumbs up to K19 that was bad advice. Cameron provided a top support as as screenwriter/producer on Strange Days for sure.

Also got to hear some of the Avatar soundtrack...so far so good.
Actually....

http://www.newyorker...currentPage=all

The relevant quote from the linked article: 

Quote:
Not long after Cameron finished shooting “Terminator 2,” he got divorced from his wife at the time, the director Kathryn Bigelow. (They are still friends: Bigelow says that when she got the finished script for “The Hurt Locker,” her latest film, Cameron was the first person whose opinion she sought out.)
Knew I read that somewhere.



#47 of 631 Nicholas Martin

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Posted December 15 2009 - 06:33 PM

Here are four "B-Rolls" of production footage. Part four has some nice scoring session footage with Horner conducting the orchestra.

http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/avatar/b-roll-i
http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/avatar/b-roll-ii
http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/avatar/b-roll-iii
http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/avatar/b-roll-iv



#48 of 631 Patrick Sun

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Posted December 15 2009 - 06:55 PM

Got tickets for the noon-ish Friday showing on Imax-3D, just couldn't do the midnight showing after the busy week I'm having at work, but I'll be all bright-eyed and busy-tailed for Friday's viewing!

I'm so trying not to see/hear anymore about this film until Friday, and it's still proving to be a tough assignment...

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#49 of 631 Steve_Tk

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Posted December 16 2009 - 02:33 AM

Patrick, which IMAX do you usually attend in Atlanta?  I've only been to the one at the Mall of GA and not sure how it stands up against the others.

#50 of 631 Jim_E

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Posted December 16 2009 - 11:45 AM

Just got back from seeing Avatar here in the UK (not sure why it opened tonight here - but not complaining!) - I really enjoyed it. Sure there are parts of it that are somewhat derivative of previous films and books, but for me there's enough originality of vision at work to forget any of that. I had some concerns after the trailer, but I needn't have worried, effects shots that didn't work for me in the trailer looked flawless on 3D digital projection (maybe something to do with their conversion to 2D perhaps? Would be interested to see what the 2D version looks like on the big screen)

Sam Worthington is much more effective than he was in T4, Zoe Saldana is superb in her role, Sigourney Weaver works well and Stephen Lang is a little over the top, but still a lot of fun. Most of the other roles were fairly thinly drawn as the bulk of the running time is taken up with Jake getting to know Pandora and the Na'vi. It was easy to get forget that nothing we were seeing was real for much of this time - really sterling work on the effects by Weta. Cameron's direction is excellent as always, he really seems too understand how to use 3-D to immerse you in the experience. His script may not be up to the level of his direction (it's a little heavy handed with the message and some of the voice over is a little flat) but serves the film well enough. It's clear a lot of thought went into the world here - it'd be fascinating to have Cameron novelise all his ideas as I'm sure there's a lot more in his mind than on screen - but I'd prefer not to have to wait so long for his next film!

There is one truly awful part of the film though - the end credits music by Leona Lewis. That song was nominated for a Golden Globe? It really smacks of Cameron trying to emulate the Celine Dion song from Titanic - once was bad enough Jim!

Anyway, I'd heartily recommend Avatar - check your preconceptions at the door and go along for the ride.


#51 of 631 Dave Scarpa

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Posted December 16 2009 - 04:33 PM

Was'nt the Battle for Terra a similar theme to this film?

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#52 of 631 Chuck Mayer

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Posted December 17 2009 - 02:10 AM

Kenneth Turan despised Titanic.

His review of Avatar.

I won't sleep again until I've seen it.  That is good news.  I'm pretty excited.
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#53 of 631 Chris Atkins

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Posted December 17 2009 - 02:20 AM

I have to admit a few of the reviews have me worried about the story. I have no doubt the spectacle will be amazing.

#54 of 631 Simon Massey

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Posted December 17 2009 - 02:28 AM

Just got back from 2D presentation.

Although very derivative of other films (Dances With Wolves, Braveheart definitely spring to mind) and a little heavy handed with the political and environmental message, I still thoroughly enjoyed the film and forgave the lack of originality since it was put together so well. Really want to see it in 3D now. Beautiful shots which Im sure will look stunning in 3D. The flying sequences are fantastic.

After while you forgot that the Navi were CGI by and large and just enjoy the film. Zoe Saldana was probably the standout for me in this film.

Surprised by the hugely positive critical reaction though - it is a good film but not what I would expect most critics to warm to - I expect a backlash in a similar vein to the one that happened with Titanic. As someone said, the history of the production and the media's handling of it is similar to Titanic and I think this will continue.

4 out of 5 from me :)



#55 of 631 Steven Simon

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Posted December 17 2009 - 02:55 AM

Wonderful Review...  Can't wait to see it....


#56 of 631 Cory S.

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Posted December 17 2009 - 05:32 AM

Trying to really get up for this thing tomorrow...but I'm struggling.  The CG and the design just bother the heck out of me.  I know trailers don't do a film justice but I can't get Kashyyyk and Cato Neimoida out of my head when I see imagery of Pandora.  I mean, they're all just too similar.  It's as if Cameron had this look in his head for Pandora for years and Lucas pretty much had the same idea and just put it in his film first...

I have pretty much loved all of Cameron's film and that's really the only reason I'm seeing this thing.  Really trying to be hopeful for it.

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#57 of 631 Jim Barg

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Posted December 17 2009 - 05:45 AM

Just saw the thing at the BFI IMAX in London.

IMAX 3D is the way to go here. Accept no substitutes.

Pulpy fun and fantastic presentation.


#58 of 631 TravisR

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Posted December 17 2009 - 06:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory S. ">

I can't get... Cato Neimoida out of my head when I see imagery of Pandora.
 

[NERD]I think you mean Felucia. Cato Nemoidia is where Plo Koon crashes his starfighter. Felucia is the jungle-esque planet where Aayla Secura is killed.[/NERD]

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#59 of 631 Chuck Mayer

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Posted December 17 2009 - 06:28 AM

Lucas' environments might share surface similarities with Pandora, but this is where the Cameron effect comes in.  He explores his world, invests in it, makes the science work.  The Ep III environments were just that, brief locations to be seen for a moment or two of footage.

You never explored those worlds in Star Wars.  They were window dressing.
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#60 of 631 Neil Middlemiss

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Posted December 17 2009 - 06:45 AM


/img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif Best post I have seen in a while, Travis...
Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisR 
I think you mean Felucia. Cato Nemoidia is where Plo Koon crashes his starfighter. Felucia is the jungle-esque planet where Aayla Secura is killed.

Why don't I have a girlfriend? /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


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